Increased risks of polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis among 24 577 first-degree relatives of 11 039 patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms in Sweden

Genetic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892-7236, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 06/2008; 112(6):2199-204. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2008-03-143602
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous small studies have reported familial clustering of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and myelofibrosis (MF). We identified 6217 PV, 2838 ET, 1172 MF, and 812 MPN unclassifiable (NOS) patients diagnosed in Sweden, 43 550 controls, and first-degree relatives of cases (n = 24 577) and controls (n = 99 542). Using a marginal survival model, we calculated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals as measures of familial aggregation. Relatives of MPN patients had significantly increased risks of PV (RR = 5.7; 3.5-9.1), ET (RR = 7.4; 3.7-14.8), and MPN NOS (RR = 7.5; 2.7-20.8). Analyses stratified by type of first-degree relative revealed consistently higher risks for siblings, compatible with a model of recessive genetic inheritance, which can be confirmed only by identifying the susceptibility gene(s). Mean age at MPN diagnosis was not different (P = .20) for affected relatives of cases (57.5 years) versus controls (60.6 years), and risk of MPN by age was not different for parents versus offspring of MPN cases (P = .10), providing no support for anticipation. Relatives of MPN patients had a borderline increased risk of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML; RR = 1.9; 0.9-3.8; P = .09). Our findings of 5- to 7-fold elevated risk of MPNs among first-degree relatives of MPN patients support the hypothesis that common, strong, shared susceptibility genes predispose to PV, ET, MF, and possibly CML.

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